Impact of Training and Municipal Support on Primary Health Care-Based Measurement of Alcohol Consumption in Three Latin American Countries: 5-Month Outcome Results of the Quasi-experimental Randomized SCALA Trial

P. Anderson*, J. Manthey, E.J. Llopis, G.N. Rey, I.V. Bustamante, M. Piazza, P.S.M. Aguilar, J. Mejia-Trujillo, A. Perez-Gomez, G. Rowlands, H. Lopez-Pelayo, L. Mercken, D. Kokole, A. O'Donnell, A. Solovei, E. Kaner, B. Schulte, H. de Vries, C. Schmidt, A. GualJ. Rehm

*Corresponding author for this work

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6 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose We aimed to test the effects of providing municipal support and training to primary health care providers compared to both training alone and to care as usual on the proportion of adult patients having their alcohol consumption measured. Methods We undertook a quasi-experimental study reporting on a 5-month implementation period in 58 primary health care centres from municipal areas within Bogota (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), and Lima (Peru). Within the municipal areas, units were randomized to four arms: (1) care as usual (control); (2) training alone; (3) training and municipal support, designed specifically for the study, using a less intensive clinical and training package; and (4) training and municipal support, designed specifically for the study, using a more intense clinical and training package. The primary outcome was the cumulative proportion of consulting adult patients out of the population registered within the centre whose alcohol consumption was measured (coverage). Results The combination of municipal support and training did not result in higher coverage than training alone (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.6 to 0.8). Training alone resulted in higher coverage than no training (IRR = 9.8, 95% CI = 4.1 to 24.7). Coverage did not differ by intensity of the clinical and training package (coefficient = 0.8, 95% CI 0.4 to 1.5). Conclusions Training of providers is key to increasing coverage of alcohol measurement amongst primary health care patients. Although municipal support provided no added value, it is too early to conclude this finding, since full implementation was shortened due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2671
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number9
Early online date9 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Colombia
  • Institute for Health Care Improvement
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • audit-c
  • brief advice
  • colombia
  • heavy drinking
  • implementation
  • institute for health care improvement
  • measurement of alcohol consumption
  • mexico
  • municipal action
  • peru
  • primary health care

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